Actually, this scene is more a failed beginning that you might enjoy reading if you liked the book.  I was playing around with the characters, trying to get a feel for them and the story.  I had the scene in my mind but on paper, it just didn’t work.  Looking back NOW, I can see why.  I hadn’t quite captured Kory’s true nature.  She was a little too playful.  Also, you’ll notice in this version that Kory is closer to Lacey in this version…but by the time I did the rewrite, Tina was the closer friend.  🙂

~ ~ ~

Kory McCallister sat at the outdoor table near the sidewalk with her two best friends Tina and Lacey.  They were waiting for their cheeseburgers while sipping iced tea and enjoying the cool May breeze, sitting on the patio of the café.  Kory pushed her sunglasses up her nose, because she didn’t want her friends to see her expression.  They were getting ready to grill her for what she’d just told them.

“No way,” Lacey said.  “Where?”

“I dunno.  I’m considering a tragus or septum piercing.”

Tina’s brown brows furrowed over her eyes of the same color.  “Septum?  Is that the one that’s like a cow’s nose ring?”

Lacey laughed, but Kory shook her head.  Her friends wouldn’t understand.  Still, she felt the need to try.  “A septum is the bottom of the nose.  Yes, I suppose like a bull ring.”

“Why the hell would you do that?”

Lacey tucked a piece of blonde hair behind her ear.  “Yeah, I don’t get the septum either, but tragus piercings can be cute on the right person.”

“Thanks,” Kory said, picking up her glass of iced tea and sipping slowly.  She didn’t expect her friends to understand.  They hadn’t thus far.  But she could see Lacey’s gears turning.  The girl had been her best friend since middle school, all through high school, and they’d remained friends.  The three women were attending community college while working and sharing the rent for a little three-bedroom house in a crowded part of town.

Lacey was tapping her index finger on the table.  “I know you don’t want to hear this, Kor, but you want to go into business, right?”  Oh, shit.  Kory had heard this one from her friend before.

~ ~ ~

That’s a far cry from this, the real beginning of the book:

Kory McCallister sat on the brown vinyl couch in the air conditioned studio. She pulled her thumb away from her lip once again, because that nail had already been chewed into oblivion.

So stupid. Yeah, stupid that she was so nervous, but she couldn’t help it. She was going to see Stone Bowman soon. God, that man was her dream guy and he probably had no idea she even existed.

She took a deep breath, trying to calm her nerves. No, she wasn’t nervous about getting pierced. She’d done it plenty of times and, with her fear of needles, she was surprised that she’d been able to do it so many times, but it was because of Stone. She’d entered this place two years ago and there he’d been—tall, dark, shoulder-length hair, scruff on his face, coal-dark eyes, and holy hell, more tattoos than her eyes could take in. His neck, arms, chest (although his shirt covered most of it), and heaven knew what else. His body was a living canvas, and Kory had fallen in love with the guy the first time she’d seen him. He was a dream. He was also a calming influence, part of why she thought she’d never be able to be pierced by anyone else on the planet, and she supposed that was why he was so good at his job.

He was also a hell of a tattoo artist, but Kory’s fear of needles had prevented her so many times from getting a tattoo.

No one would have ever guessed she was afraid of having a needle poke her because the girl was pierced all over—multiple eyebrow piercings, nose, lips, and her ears were pincushions. She also had a belly ring. She still had plenty of places to pierce, but she didn’t want to have Stone doing the honors on her nipple…not now, anyway. She definitely didn’t want anyone else doing it, either.

She knew having Stone pierce her was a waste of his supreme talents as a tattoo artist, but he was co-owner of the shop. She always requested him and he’d never refused.

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